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GMIT-RPS BIM collaboration wins ‘Excellence in Education & Training’ Award
17/05/2017 07:53:45

GMIT-RPS BIM collaboration wins the ‘Excellence in Education and Training’ Award at the 2017 Irish Construction Industry Awards
Source: GMIT
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The GMIT Department of Building and Civil Engineering and RPS were delighted to win the ‘Excellence in Education and Training’ Award at the 2017 Irish Construction Industry Awards, held in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin recently (Tuesday 9 May). The award recognises a close academic-industry collaboration between GMIT and RPS over the past four years, which has directly informed the development of a Higher Diploma (Level 8) in Engineering in Building Information Modelling (BIM) using an innovative educational outreach approach.

The aim of the programme is to assist the construction sector in reviewing their business models and practices, to facilitate a move away from adversarial relationships to more collaborative ones and to identify cost reduction and innovation opportunities within the building supply chain to provide better value for money. In Ireland, the ‘Construction 2020 Strategy’ has recommended the implementation of a staged development programme to support companies advancing to Level 2 BIM capability. In June 2016, a National BIM Council was set up to devise a national roadmap for the implementation of the digital design, construction and operation of built assets in Ireland. These government strategies and initiatives pose several challenges in relation to organisational culture, education, training and information management in a sector that has traditionally employed a fragmentary and project-specific approach involving multiple stakeholders, which has led to a scattering of information and knowledge over different processes, trades and people within an organisation.

To date, the Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM has upskilled over 80 RPS staff, including the first five graduates of the BIM Diploma Programme in November 2016. This has informed a reorientation of working practices, which has led to RPS been awarded ‘BIM Level 2 Business Systems certification’ by BRE Global in 2015 and has enabled RPS to offer professional services on projects in the UK and Europe resulting in the award of major highways, water and gas projects.

The Director for BIM RPS, Mark Costello, who was awarded a BRE Academy Fellowship in 2017, expressed his delight at winning the award. “Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has been instrumental in providing the necessary approach to education and training required to deliver projects in a collaborative (Level 2) BIM environment in Ireland and the UK.”

The GMIT-RPS collaboration in partnership with other industry stakeholders has also led to the establishment of the BIM Western Region, which has provided a supplementary educational forum for industry stakeholders and students with 16 guest speakers addressing BIM challenges and opportunities at four seminars hosted in GMIT since September 2015. BIM has also featured prominently as a key theme in GMIT’s Annual International Construction Management Conference over the past number of years with the most recent (March 2017) workshop focusing on: BIM for lean construction; 4D construction sequencing; and 5D costing with BIM.

Mary Rogers, Head of Department of Building and Civil Engineering in GMIT praised the collaborative efforts.” The Department of Building and Civil Engineering at GMIT has partnered with the RPS Group on a number of research-informed projects for the construction industry over recent years. The Higher Diploma in Engineering in Building Information Modelling programme was designed, through this close symbiotic alliance, to meet the demand for implementing innovative processes and technologies in order to keep pace with a changing construction sector, both in Ireland and internationally.”

Jim O’Connor, BIM Programme Coordinator at GMIT, also expressed his delight at receiving the award. “We are delighted with this award in recognition of our work. Our close partnership with RPS and other industry stakeholders has enabled GMIT to become one of the leading providers of BIM education to industry in Ireland.’”

The GMIT Department of Building and Civil Engineering was also shortlisted in the following categories at the Awards ceremony:

  • Excellence in Education and Training category shortlisted: GMIT and BAM Ireland – Resource Efficiency Strategies for the Irish Construction Sector.
  • Excellence in Sustainability category shortlisted: GMIT and Carey Building Contractors.
  • Innovation in Construction category shortlisted: GMIT and BAM Ireland – Resource Efficiency Toolkit Development.

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